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VERSATILE: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam with the students of Sanskrit school at Mantralayam on Thursday. Photo: U. Subramanyam
VERSATILE: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam with the students of Sanskrit school at Mantralayam on Thursday. Photo: U. Subramanyam

D. Sreenivasulu

MANTRALAYAM (KURNOOL DIST): President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam astonished a distinguished gathering of scholars here on Thursday by reciting the "moolamantra" of Sri Raghavendra Swamy and a hymn from Vedas that invoked Sun and Medha Devi (retention of power) and Maneesha Devi (absorption of power).

Dr. Kalam worshipped at Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, over 300-year-old temple in Kurnool district. Head of the Mutt Sushameendra Theertha conducted the President into the interior of the temple and officiated the rituals.

Temple honours

After landing here, the President, accompanied by Governor Rameshwar Thakur and Minister for Lift Irrigation and representative of State Government M. Mareppa, drove to the temple. He was accorded a ceremonial reception with full temple honours. Dr. Kalam, who was wearing a "bandgala", wrapped a saffron silk shawl and entered the inner temple and offered prayers at the threshold of the sanctum sanctorum. He did not enter the sanctum sanctorum. After blessing the President, the pontiff garlanded him and presented a memento. Dr. Kalam too garlanded the pontiff.

Interacts with students

Later, he joined students of Sri Gurusarvabhouma Sanskrit Vidyapeeth and Parimala High School, run by the Mutt, who gathered at the "Purnabhoda" hall of the temple. After an interaction with them, the President exhorted them to carry forward the great tradition of institution- Mantralay Mutt. Describing them as future "gurus", he said

Focus on Sanskrit

Guru Raghavendra had practised and taught truth and dharma. He called for intensive researching of Sanskrit writings, as many countries were doing it. He offered help to digitise the information available on palm leaves.

The President suggested that Sanskrit Vidyapeeth should take up collection of missing literature in Sanskrit so that it could be documented and preserved.

The Mutt authorities donated Rs. 5 lakhs to the President for development of Sanskrit at his native town of Rameshwaram. The President spent nearly an hour in the temple. The Uttaradhikari of the temple Suyateendratheertha was among those present.


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